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Gorbachev's Reform: Road to Ruin (Special Issue No.54, 2015)


By Chen Airu & Wang Yingying, Research Team on “Methodology of Reform”, Research Department of Macro-Economy of DRC

Research Report [Special Issue No.54 (Total 1457), 2015] 2015-12-25

Abstract: With a goal to revitalize socialism and to accelerate the economic development of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev's reform, however, turned out contrary to the original wishes and resulted in the disintegration of the Party and the Soviet Union. In view of the reform methodology, even though the reform received support from the whole country, it was doomed to fail as Gorbachev failed to address the four fundamental and strategic relations properly. In view of the relations between the government and market, there lacked a market-oriented economic theory and explicit reform strategy; In view of the relations between central and local governments, the reform demands of the local governments were not answered in a timely manner, and naturally the enthusiasm of local governments for reform was not mobilized; in view of the relations between the government and people, even though measures were taken to curb the interests of the privileged groups under the old system, democracy was not realized in real terms; and in view of the relations between democracy and the rule of law, the process of democratization was pushed forward in a rush and without the adequate legal guarantee, and such a process finally became a mere formality. The failure of Gorbachev's reform has proved that a successful reform requires continuous efforts to seek consensus; if a government makes a promise, it must be kept and relevant actions must be followed; and the implementation of a policy should be featured by its continuity and consistency so as to build up people’s confidence for reform.

Key words: Gorbachev's reform, marketization, methodology